Solo Snared

Zach tries a different method of hunting.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Snared

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 13th, 2018, 7:18 pm


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65, SUMMER, 518 A.V.



The floor of Zach's rented room in the Solar Wind Apartments was currently littered with an assortment of useful items. Earlier in the day, the Drykas had managed to locate a shop where he could purchase some extra supplies he wanted for the hunting trip he had planned for today. His last outing, the first he had undertaken in this new city, had not gone quite to plan. Woodlands needed a completely different approach to the wide open plains he was accustomed to.

The shopkeeper had sold him a number of items all bundled together, and thrown in leather pouch for him to keep everything together in. The two small snares in particular were what the hunter had been after, and he inspected the thin wires for a moment. Once everything had been sorted properly, he re-packed it all up and then gathered the rest of his items. His shortbow and arrows were slung over his back, he picked up his new purchases and headed out of the apartment.

Slowly, Zach was getting used to the beautiful city. He wished that the thick mists would dissipate though. The Drykas could only imagine what the shining glass structures would look like in the full glory of the sun. He wound his way through the streets and over bridges, pleased that he remembered the route out to the woodlands. He paused for a moment before stepping onto the path that would take him out into the wilds proper. The gravelly dirt scrunched under his feet and then he was on his way.

The hunter took his time along the path, stepping carefully over the loose stones, leaning back slightly to adapt to the gradient of the steep mountainside. He was by no means graceful, but he was determined to get used to this new terrain. And also to not fall over.

Eventually he made it to the place where the woodland started to appear properly. The mists were thinning out, and a few sparse trees were collecting on the slope below him. It was this type of terrain he was going to try and hunt in today. He stepped off the path and would his way down to where the trees were slightly denser, but not quite the full woodland. He crouched next to a tree for a moment to formulate his plan.

Zach had never used a snare before, but the shopkeeper had given him a brief rundown on how to use them. First he needed to find the prey. Last time he was here the area before him had been teeming with rabbits before he had managed to scare most of them away. He had been told that the snares worked best if they were set up near a den or along a commonly used route. They could be set elsewhere and left with bait, but that was never guaranteed to work.

He squinted into the area ahead to see if there was anything he could spot from a distance. There were a few rabbits dotted about but they weren't together in any particular place, nor were they moving in particular directions. It seemed he would have to move closer, probably scaring them off as he did so, to find the best spots to lay a snare.

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Zach Grasswind
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Snared

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 13th, 2018, 9:39 pm


Shifting his bow into a slightly more comfortable position on his back, Zach stood and slowly made his way into the more open area ahead of him. He moved while stooped over in a slight crouch, and deliberately took slow, small steps. He wanted to see how close he could get to the rabbits before they spotted him. As prey animals he guessed that they had decent eyesight and sharp hearing. The size and position of both the eyes and ears told him that much, but having never hunted rabbits before he was not sure just how good either sense was.

Zach was still a good distance away when one of the little creatures sat bolt upright. He observed the long, thin ears swivel in his direction before the rabbit bolted across the grass at a surprisingly fast pace. The other rabbits in the area also took off at the same time - was there some sort of signal he had missed?

Annoyingly, the animals had scattered instead of all heading in the same direction, so the hunter's attention was momentarily divided as he tried to follow too many targets at once. As a result of this, he missed watching any of them enter their warrens, and by the time he had realised his mistake all of the rabbits had disappeared from his sight.

With a sigh Zach stood up straight as there was no longer a need for any sort of stealth. He wasn't frustrated because he had lost the chance to try a pot shot at any of the animals - it had definitely not been his intention today and he had never been that great at them anyway. He was frustrated because he had made a mess of his easiest chance to find the entrance to one of the many warrens he knew were out here.

Carefully, he made his way out into the more open land, leaving the scattered trees behind him. He moved at a reasonably slow pace for a couple of reasons. First, he was still worried about slipping and rolling all the way to the bottom of the mountain. Second, if he was lucky he might find a stray rabbit that hadn't got the message that there was a predator about.

He knew from his time on the grasslands that there were a few things to look out for, although rabbits were undoubtedly vastly different creatures than the deer-type animals he used the bring into his Pavilion. However, tracking at its core usually stayed the same when faced with an open space like this. First were the scats, and Zach could see plenty. In fact, there were so many that they were absolutely no help at all. He had no idea how rabbits lived, whether they roamed about or stayed in one place. Judging from what he could see though, they definitely went wherever they liked.

The next thing he could look out for were 'runs'. Animals tended to use the same pathways time after time, much like humans did. And when something, or several somethings, are repeatedly walking the same routes, those routes get burned into the ground. The grass out here was fairly long - it brushed the hunter's ankles - so in theory he should be able to see where the little creatures tended to go.

After a few chimes of inspecting the area, Zach hadn't really found much in the way of runs. He paused for a moment to survey his wider surroundings. Up above him a little way was the path that he had taken to get here from the city. Perhaps he was too close to where people would often pass through for there to be any proper runs. He squinted in the opposite direction down the mountain. Some of the rabbits had definitely run off in that direction - perhaps he would have more luck down there.

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Zach Grasswind
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Snared

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 15th, 2018, 12:07 pm


Zach wound his way down the mountainside as quickly as he dared. He noticed that there appeared to not just be a lack of rabbits - that he expected - but a complete lack of all creatures. There weren't even any birds in the sky from what he could see, but then again maybe they were all above the mists that seemed to cling to everything. He pressed on until the path was out of sight and the trees grew thicker to his right.

Down here dew still covered the grasses, which made it much easier for Zach to locate the rabbit trails. A large number of them were patchy and thin, presumably only used by a single animal, but after a little searching he managed to locate one that he thought would be classed as a proper run. The grass there was very flattened, and the trail was thicker and clearly well travelled. It was nearer to the trees, and he followed it until it stopped, pleased to see that it ended at the entrance to a warren just a little way into the grasses.

The hunter crouched down and rubbed his hands over the ground to pick up some soil that would hopefully mask most of his scent. He wasn't sure how sensitive the rabbits were but judging by the reactions earlier he figured it wouldn't hurt to bet that their noses were as good as their ears. Retrieving a snare from his pack, Zach looped one end round to create a noose that would fit over the warren entrance.

He looked around for a brief moment to locate a sturdy branch to hold the other end of the snare. He found a fairly short, thick one that must have snapped off a tree and spent a chime picking some of the splintered end off to create a more stake-like shape. That end then went into the ground next to the warren and he carefully anchored the snare to it. Satisfied that he had set it up correctly, Zach stood and gathered his pack again, and decided to see if he could find any more warrens in the woods themselves.

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Zach Grasswind
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Snared

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 15th, 2018, 12:50 pm


The run that lead away from the warren he had just been at appeared to snake into the woodland, so he decided to follow it again in the opposite direction. Hopefully there would be a good point along it where he could set up another snare. A rabbit leaving the warren would be caught by the first, and if he was lucky then a second might catch another on its way back home.

The hunter tried his best to keep his footfalls as quiet as possible. He took slow and deliberate steps, but still his heels caught on brittle twigs or his boot slipped on a loose stone. The slowness of his walk was almost painful – he felt as if he might start creaking soon. It was something so alien to him, yet something he knew he would have to get used to. As the trees started to press in over his head, the Drykas had a sudden longing to be back under the wide-open sky, racing along the plains on horseback in pursuit of his quarry. That longing was quickly squashed under the slap of intense loss. That part of his life was old, it was past, and he could not go back there. He paused for a moment, suddenly short of breath. This was his land now, the quiet trees and the whisper of hidden things in the underbrush.

After a chime or so, Zach continued on through the woods, careful not to step right on the run that the rabbits seemed to use regularly. There was very little debris on the exposed soils, signs that creatures regularly ran the path. A while passed, and all the young man could hear were his own footsteps, and the soft breeze that rustled the leaves and mingled with his own exhalations. When the run narrowed thanks to a thick tree trunk growing into it, the hunter stopped. The other side of the run had a tiny bank to it, so whatever animal ran down here would effectively be funnelled into the track.

He took another small snare from his pack and set about creating the noose in the same way as before. He tied the other end onto one of the more slender roots coming off the tree trunk, and then searched for a way to prop the noose up in the run so that an animal would go right through the middle. He settled on a small twig rammed into the little bank on the opposite side and tied the noose onto that. A small amount of leaves and other debris was scattered over the area to hopefully hide any sort of human presence he might accidentally leave behind. Now all Zach had to do was practice patience and wait.

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Zach Grasswind
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Snared

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 15th, 2018, 2:10 pm


He moved further into the forest, away from his snares. A small clearing opened up ahead of him and he paused as an idea struck. Zach was still not used to hunting within the trees, so he wasn’t about to try and track any of the larger animals to take down. Aside from still needing to learn exactly how to find anything in here, he needed to get used to shooting in the confines of a woodland. Examining the area, he selected a tree on the opposite side to where he stood. The tree had a significant knot in the centre that he could use as a sort of bullseye, and it was set a little way back past the first line of trees.

Zach pulled his bow from his back, took up and arrow and nocked it to the string. He adjusted his feet, raised the bow and relaxed his shoulder. This shot would be relatively easy as he was standing pretty much opposite the tree. He took a breath to steady his aim and let the arrow fly. It thunked into the knot with ease and Zach nodded to himself. He moved over an retrieved his arrow before heading back to stand in the same place. He squinted at the target and then shuffled to the left slightly, so that a closer tree obscured part of the knot. He figured that most of the larger animals would usually be partly concealed by foliage or trunks, so he needed to be able to shoot past them.

He attached the same arrow back to the string and made sure his feet were set shoulder-width apart before raising the bow again. He aimed past the fore-tree and steadied himself with an inhale before releasing the arrow. It flew straight before glancing off the nearest trunk and flying off somewhere to the right. Zach frowned and pulled out another arrow – he could retrieve them both together. This time he aimed more to the right than before, possibly too much now, but he found it hard to tell with such miniscule changes. Once again he held his breath, and this time the arrow hit the knot, right on the edge. Not quite what he wanted, but at least he had actually hit it this time.

Zach continued this process, using the knotted tree as his target and placing himself at various points within the clearing. He even set himself almost against a tree behind him so that he could get used to having less space to manoeuvre his arms and bow. It was drawing on two bells since he had started his training, when he decided he should head back into the city. Hopefully some rabbits had unwittingly found his snares.

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Zach Grasswind
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Snared

Postby Zach Grasswind on August 15th, 2018, 2:31 pm


He retraced his path through the forest as best he could, looking out for unique features he would recognise on the trees he passed. Missing bits of bark or oddly shaped knots guided him back to the place he laid the second snare. He spotted the tree with the roots protruding out into the little run, and sure enough at its base there was a rabbit caught up in the wire. He quickly made his way over to see that the snare had caught the animal around its neck, hopefully meaning a quicker passing. He removed the tiny body and unwound the snare from where he had tied it to the tree, storing it back in his pack. Rabbit in hand, he headed for the edge of the forest, his route clearer now that he had the run to follow again.

His first snare had also been successful, but this time the Drykas was greeted with a live catch. The trap had caught the animal around its back legs and the rabbit was struggling and kicking to get free. Zack moved over as quickly as he could, drawing a small hunting knife from his pocket. He pressed the blade into the soft fur of the rabbit to end its suffering as fast as he could. He wiped the knife clean on the grass before removing the animal from the snare. Everything was tidied away into his pack once more, and with the rabbits in hand he turned and made his way along the treeline back up to the path.

Ahead, a few of the rabbits had returned to the more open area, satisfied that the noisy human form earlier had left the vicinity. Stepping back behind the first row of trees and shrubs, Zach thought he might try his hand at a lucky shot. He removed his pack as quietly as he could and laid it next to his two catches. Crouching behind a low shrub, Zach carefully nocked an arrow to his bow before shuffling painstakingly slowly to the edge of the foliage. One knee stayed below his shoulder while he braced on the foot of the other leg. Keeping his movements as slow as possible, the hunter raised the bow and took aim at a rabbit.

He chose one that was fairly close by but had its back showing. The sun had warmed the grass enough to clear a lot of the dew, so the rabbit was enjoying a mouthful of the green stuff. Willing his aim to be true, Zach tensed the string and let the arrow fly. Satisfyingly it caught the animal, but it hadn’t reached the mark he wanted, and the poor creature was pinned with the arrow through its side. He wasn’t used to targets so small and had been aiming for its head in the hope of a quick death. The other rabbits had scattered at the commotion, so he ran over to finish the job with his knife again.

A few chimes later Zach was heading along the path and back into the city to take the rabbits into the Jugged Hare. He was satisfied that this hunt had gone marginally better than his last, but the hunter had yet to learn to think of the trees with any sort of fondness. Lhavit didn’t feel like home yet, and as a hunter he felt very out of his depth. But hopefully in time he would soon find his feet, and his arrows their marks.

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Zach Grasswind
What’s a tree?
 
Posts: 132
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Snared

Postby Madeira Craven on August 23rd, 2018, 5:14 pm

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Grades Awarded!

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Zach Grasswind

Skills
  • Land Navigation: 3xp
  • Planning: 1xp
  • Wilderness Survival- Woodlands: 3xp
  • Trapping: 3xp
  • Observation: 5xp
  • Stealth: 3xp
  • Hunting: 3xp
  • Tracking:3xp
  • Weapon- Shortbow: 2xp

Lores
  • Wilderness Survival: taking stock of the terrain
  • Trapping: set snares along a well-traveled path
  • Stealth: using a slow, deliberate gait
  • Lore of the startled behavior of rabbits
  • Tracking: following scat
  • Tracking: identifying runs
  • Trapping: how to build a snare

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Notes
Congratulations on your first graded thread! If you have any questions or concerns please PM me. :)
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